Digitized construction industry underway — Report

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PROCORE Germaine Reyes, CEO and founder of Synergy Market Research + Strategic Consultancy and Bruce Wells, vice president of Asia at Procore Technologies Inc.

September 10, 2022

As the global pandemic has made a significant push for most industries to embrace digitization, the Philippine construction industry is not lagging, as the latest report from a leading global provider of construction management software, Procore Technologies, Inc., disclosed that construction firms here are starting in its digital transformation journey.

Procore’s benchmark report “How We Build Now 2022 — Tracking technology in Asia Pacific Construction in 2022,” said construction firms in the Philippines understand that digital transformation is required to overcome challenges incurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 26 percent of construction businesses already being digital-first and 56 percent being ‘well on the way’ in their digital transformation journey.

The study showed that two in three (65 percent) Filipino construction decision-makers reported an increase in their digital investments during the last 24 months.

Further research from Procore also found that Filipino respondents recognize the benefits of construction technology, in particular the reduced reliance on human labor (55 percent), the ability to handle more projects (54 percent), and resource efficiency through less rework (53 percent).

Though the digital transformation journey is not spared from obstacles, as challenges are still inevitable, identifying the top barriers of digital transformation includes changing established behaviors (44 percent), and overcoming concerns around data security (43 percent).

These are followed by the costs involved to transform digitally, inadequate software solutions, and a lack of support from technology providers and vendors (38 percent each), while more than one in three respondents (36 percent) also cited the challenge of breaking information and people out of ‘silos’.

Bruce Wells, vice president of Asia, Procore, said a key issue with construction technology lies with a history of it being built by tech people, not construction people, as it creates a mismatch of expectations between what businesses want technology to do, and what it can actually do.

“As a cloud-based software provider created by construction professionals for construction professionals, Procore is rooted and solely dedicated to the advancement of the industry. Procore understands the pain points that the industry faces, and we build solutions to directly address them,” Wells added.

Spanning five markets in the Asia Pacific and gathering insights from more than 1,100 respondents within the construction industry, the report examined the general sentiment of the industry, the digital maturity, and adoption of construction technologies, as well as the challenges and opportunities that businesses face.

Industry headwinds

The same report stated that the Philippine construction industry continues to face significant headwinds, with top challenges cited being the increasing cost of raw materials and equipment (58 percent), maintaining safe working environments (44 percent), and increasing productivity (40 percent).

However, almost all (98 percent) respondents in the Philippines expressed confidence about industry conditions over the next 12 months, with an overwhelming majority also expecting an increase in the number (80 percent) or value (75 percent) of projects over the same timeframe.

Also, the report elucidated that across the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines is a frontrunner on the digital maturity curve — with above-average adoption rates for technologies from the Internet of Things (47 percent) to drones (43 percent), telematics/asset-tracking (42 percent) to big data analytics (41 percent).

Moreover, Filipino construction decision-makers expect technologies such as digital project management platforms (48 percent), big data analytics and pre-fabrication (46 percent each), telematics/asset-tracking (40 percent), and traditional BIM (40 percent), to drive change in the next three years.

The top technologies that construction businesses in the Philippines are planning to introduce within the next three years include next-generation BIM (65 percent), pre-fabrication (63 percent), and robotics (61 percent).
Procore said more than half of Filipino respondents also displayed strong intentions to introduce cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning (59 percent), extended reality (58 percent), and big data analytics (55 percent).

“It is imperative for construction businesses to digitalize the way they manage data, to unlock actionable insights that improve productivity and ultimately, the business bottom line. At Procore, we understand that data is the key to the future of construction. Through our integrated platform, we enable smarter construction by providing real-time visibility and insight into all aspects of project performance, so that construction businesses can benefit from better control of their projects and deliver higher quality builds,” according to Wells.

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